We have scoured the internet to find fun, free, or partly free resources that we think will tickle your fancy this summer and beyond!!
Check out these pretty amazing opportunities!
Camp Wonderopolis is a free online summer-learning destination for all ages (and camp counselors and homeschool parents, too). It’s designed to be a fun, interactive camp utilizing STEM and literacy-building topics, that are boosted by Maker experiments. It has been affectionately called by some parents the Bill Nye of summer camps. The theme of 2018 is music, and how it connects to science, and is supported through each of the core subjects.
Camp Playful - A free hands-on summer crafts camp for families with kids ages 5-12, to do together. Register for their free summer five part video series that delivers video lesson plans each week via email. Each lesson goes step by step, for families to work together, using common household materials to make fun summer projects. Lessons and program lists are available upon sign-up.
Start with a Book is designed to help kids stay engaged readers throughout the summer months by offering book lists and project ideas for students in grades K-5. They also have a special 5 day summer science program they offer for free download, called River Rangers.
You can download the River Rangers Toolkit, which is a large digital file you can print or save to your computer. The toolkit includes book lists related to each topic of study, vocabulary lists, projects (with instructions, guided lessons for teachers, and YouTube video links), as well as writing prompts.
For more information about how to use Start with a Book read their About page.
Jam.com offers a free 14 day trial for parents. Jam is not a summer camp program, but it’s designed to get kids from ages 7- 14 creating and making things! The free two week trial could work out great during the summer, when longer days mean more activities are needed.
Jam is described as a combination of Netflix and YouTube with a strong emphasis on getting kids engaged and active in projects after watching videos, and on creating a completely safe and ad-free media environment.
Each video is designed to be a launching pad for creativity and DIY project experience for kids. Kids can safely share their projects with each other on Jam’s completely moderated platform. Parents get notifications each time their kids post something on Jam. Parents can easily track their kids activity on the Jam app, as well.
Read the Common Sense Media review of Jam for more info.
They offer the first month for free. Their programs are taught by counselors.
Please check out Connected Camp’s Camp Schedule to find times that work for your kids. Their weekly summer camps are offered through August, 17, 2018.
TechRocket offers coding and design courses for kids and teens ages 10 to 18.
Python, iOs, Java, Minecraft, 3D printing and more!
They offer a free membership option that includes a selection of up to 12 courses.
Sign-up for the free membership and begin taking courses at times that work for you and your student.
Signum University, an online college in New Hampshire, founded by an Associate English Professor who teaches classes based on the works and J.R.R. Tolkien and has a podcast titled, The Tolkien Professor hosts Signum Academy for kids.
Signum Academy offers free interactive summer reading programs for middle schoolers. The program is offered with the help of other parents and/or groups who help participate in leading a group session after the instructor-led session.
You may not have to lead one to participate, and it’s worth filling out the Signum Academy group registration form to see if your kids can be matched into a group with others. Signum Academy is very homeschool friendly.
Each reading camp is two weeks long and offers in-depth, age-appropriate, guided discussions about the book being covered in the camp. Each day of camp is split into two basic parts: Daily online sessions (using GoToWebinar) and Local Group Meetings.
Signum Academy’s online summer camps for middle schoolers are offered through August 17, 2018.
You will need to register as a group, family sign-ups are encouraged.
July 9 - July 20, 2018: The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
July 16 - July 27, 2018: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling
July 23 - August 3, 2018: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, by C. S. Lewis
August 6 - August 17, 2018: A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle
Maker Camp - Sponsored by the large, DIY arts and engineering Maker Faire that originated in the Bay Area in 2006, Maker Camps follow in the same self-starter spirit for kids of all ages (depending on the project).
Maker Camp encourages kids to create their own projects and share them with other Makers throughout the world. This helps create an online DIY Maker summer camp experience.
Sign-up to get started and find projects and activities for your students.
Please see the Maker 2017 Summer Projects, created last year by other Makers (remember, everyone’s a Maker!) for things to keep your kids busy with this summer.
Additionally, there are dozens of physical locations listed for Maker camps throughout the world (fees apply, and vary according to location).
Homeschool Buyers Co-op - Founded in 2005, Homeschool Buyers Co-op was founded by a homeschooling family with a passion to bring affordable homeschooling resources to the greater homeschooling community. Read their About Page for their history and how their business works (membership is free!).
They also have an extensive amount of free resources for homeschoolers, all year round.
Free coding classes for high schoolers at 42 Silicon Valley Engineering College in Fremont, California (San Francisco Bay Area).
Free coding education for students age 13-18.
July 9 - August 3, 2018 (4 weeks) Drop off: 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM weekdays.
42 Silicon Valley Engineering College offers various programs throughout the year for high school students. Their goal is to help students learn coding and to learn digital skills for the 21st century.
Their main program, HackHighSchool, runs from September to May. Their summer camp runs for six weeks this year with five levels of classes to choose from.
Bravewriter Online Summer Camp - for Homeschool Parents!
July 23, 2018 - July 25, 2018.
The Brave Writer camp is designed for homeschool parents who need a little extra boost this fall. The live sessions will offer information, support, and the opportunity to ask questions.
Please follow the link for registration. You can download their Summer Camp Handbook which has a schedule for the camp (please note that all times are in Eastern Daylight Savings time), and some activities for kids, too.
Homeschool Buyers Co-op is offering a free summer webinar about lesson planning, for homeschool parents, on July 26, 2018 at 11:00 AM (PST).
The webinar is hosted by Homeschool Planet’s Lesson Plan Director, Robyn Calvi. Homeschool Planet is a digital lesson planning subscription. Read Cathy Duffey’s review of this digital lesson planning system here.